An estimated 80 percent of foreign investments into real estate development projects here in New York and throughout the country are provided by primarily Chinese investors. In exchange for these monies, many of these foreign nationals are hoping to qualify for a green card through a visa program. Unfortunately, this particular program has often been investigated for suspected EB-5 fraud.
Senator Chuck Grassley recently expressed concerns that a company once owned by an advisor in the current administration is involved in possibly fraudulent practices. The project, One Journal Square, is being promoted by both the United States Immigration Fund (USIF) and an immigration company based in China. In literature reportedly produced for the project, investors were allegedly promised that their investments are safeguarded, and green cards were also guaranteed. According to the senator, both of those statements are forbidden.
Investors’ monies are not safe until the project is nearly completed, and the visas are also not guaranteed, as the applicants are still required to undergo the same process as other applicants. The senator questioned whether this particular program was abiding by regulations set by the SEC, since some of these investments are considered the same as securities that are marketed by other corporations. All of the entities involved have denied any violations. Once the Chinese immigration company was contacted about its troublesome wording, it removed those controversial statements from its advertising.
The senator also expressed concerns over the inclusion of Mr. Jared Kushner’s name in some of the promotional events; however, he reportedly transferred his personal ownership in the company to a trust. It is unknown whether the project will be completed with the inclusion of the estimated 15 percent foreign investment that it purportedly hoped to raise through the visa program. New York residents who have concerns that they may have been a victim of EB-5 fraud may elect to contact knowledgeable professionals who can provide further information regarding their rights.
Source: cnbc.com, “US Senator calls for probe into promotion of Kushner Cos deal“, May 30, 2017